Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has expressed disappointment with civil servants, while confirming that the Desert Star Holdings Limited (DSH) agreement with the Government of Saint Lucia was leaked.
This therefore means that the two documents that have been circulating on social media could be the actual agreement.
Chastanet said, “The fact is, the documents goes in files and you trust that civil servants will do the right thing. If I am upset at anything, it is that somebody would have breached this.”
The prime minister made this statement on Talk with Rick Wayne on Thursday evening.
He said that while he expect leaks and “you don’t see me jumping off a cliff,” he is still disappointed in the fact that someone would go to the extreme of leaking confidential government information.
“What I am grateful for, is that I was being transparent the whole time…that when this thing was leaked people knew about the project,” hinting that the previous government did the total opposite.
He went on to speak briefly about the Grynberg Project, saying: “Maybe there is merit in allowing the documents to remain in the house of somebody rather than putting them in the files of government,because maybe they stay secret much longer.”
The Opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) took the opportunity to assess the two documents purporting to be the agreement, and provided a comprehensive argument on why they think government has erred.
SLP’s spokesman for commerce and investment Dr. Ernest Hilaire argued that the agreement offers little and virtually places all of the productive and investment lands in Vieux Fort in the hands of one developer.
But Chastanet defended the project stating that it will create the type of sustainable jobs that the people of Vieux Fort deserves and it is not going to be another failed project.
St. Lucians have also added their voices to the debate, with some in support, while others are not.
Those in support, said that Vieux Fort has suffered too long and believes the project will create opportunities for the people in that community, especially in these harsh economic times.
Others have argued that the government moved too quickly to approve the project and did not look at the fine prints, giving the company enormous advantage over them.
Some fear that this could set precedence for other investors to come here to set up shop, go into real estate, buy all the available pieces of land and house for sale, which can cause prices to rise, and thus putting the poor locals out on the streets in the long term.